Hong Kong leader refuses to explain journalist visa denial

HONG KONG: Hong Kong's leader Tuesday refused to mention why the city had denied a visa to a number one Financial Times journalist, despite escalating demands for an evidence of the remarkable challenge to freedom of the click.

Victor Mallet, the FT's Asia news editor and a British national, angered authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong by way of internet hosting a speech at the town's press membership by way of Andy Chan, the leader of a tiny pro-independence political birthday celebration, in August.

Chan's birthday celebration used to be later banned as Beijing cracks down on any pro-independence sentiment in the semi-autonomous town.

An utility to renew Mallet's paintings visa used to be refused and on Sunday he used to be given seven days to leave Hong Kong.

Facing questions for the primary time because the visa denial emerged ultimate week, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who's appointed by way of a pro-Beijing committee, mentioned the decision were handed down by way of immigration authorities.

She mentioned linking it to the Chan talk used to be "pure speculation".

"As a rule — not only locally, but internationally — we will never disclose, the immigration department will not disclose, the individual circumstances of the case or the considerations of this decision," Lam informed newshounds.

She refused to immediately acknowledge the specifics of the idea over why Mallet used to be denied the visa.

However, Lam mentioned the government "will not tolerate any advocacy of Hong Kong independence and things that harm national security, territorial integrity and developmental interests".

She refused to touch upon how Mallet could be connected to any of the ones potential threats when it used to be pointed out that he used to be now not an independence recommend however had merely chaired a talk by way of Chan at the town's Foreign Correspondents' Club, which has additionally hosted talks by way of Chinese officials.

Asked whether newshounds may just now be punished for interviewing independence activists or writing about independence, Lam mentioned she may just give no steering however insisted that freedom of reporting and expression had been "core values".

Pro-democracy lawmakers mentioned they'd desk a motion summoning Lam and the immigration leader to the legislature to give an explanation for.

And the Financial Times mentioned: "In the absence of an explanation from the Hong Kong authorities, the FT is appealing the recent rejection of a renewed work visa for Victor Mallet."

Hong Kong enjoys rights unseen on the mainland, together with freedom of speech and the click, enshrined in an settlement made when the city used to be handed again to China by way of Britain in 1997.

But there are growing fears the ones rights are disappearing.

Beijing incessantly denies visas to foreign newshounds on the mainland however it has now not been a tactic used in Hong Kong.

Britain, the United States and the European Union have expressed worry, with Canada's consulate in Hong Kong becoming a member of the list on Tuesday.

The town's most influential lawyers have demanded an evidence and Hong Kong's American Chamber of Commerce warned curtailing press freedom may just harm the city's competitiveness.

A newshounds' alliance has handed over petitions with more than 20,000 signatures to the government calling for solutions.


Mallet, who has now not spoken publicly, mentioned he used to be "very grateful" to those who had signed, in Facebook and Twitter posts on Tuesday.


Political analyst Willy Lam informed AFP it used to be "very likely" that instructions had come from Beijing to penalise those who had been observed as advocating independence.


"(Carrie Lam) certainly can't contradict orders given by Beijing, including in this case," mentioned Lam, a professor of China studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.


Some pro-Beijing figures have publicly welcomed the ousting of Mallet, together with well-known commentator Wat Wing-yin who wrote in conservative newspaper Ta Kung Pao: "We only asked you to leave and did not execute you by shooting. That is already the most civilised of protests."
Hong Kong leader refuses to explain journalist visa denial Hong Kong leader refuses to explain journalist visa denial Reviewed by kailash soni on October 09, 2018 Rating: 5
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